A new Slayer creature, World Event 2 and the Festive Aura… It must be Christmas!
This year we have a sack-load of special treats to fill all of Gielinor with Christmas spirit!
Up to Snow Good
After his catastrophic loss during the Battle of Lumbridge, Zamorak has been looking for an opportunity to vent his frustrations and get some revenge on the population of Gielinor. What better way than to ruin Christmas? He’s tasked one of his demons, San’tar Klaws - with orders to lock up Santa, burn Christmas trees and generally kick anything festive in its tinsel-wrapped behind.
In a brand-new, fun-filled update, stacked with Christmas cheer and cheesy puns, you’ll be asked to pick between the 'Naughty' and 'Nice' lists. Do you want to revel in a Zamorakian Christmas filled with chaos and disorder, or do you hunger for a traditional, happy, pudding- and-present-filled holiday? Meet up with old pals from Christmases gone by, and enjoy a new pet, tinsel scarf, Christmas emote and a very silly Christmas jumper.
This year the Festive Aura makes a triumphant return after a year of hiding in the RS office Christmas decoration box. It’s available to all members on the 1st of December, gives you a 50% XP boost for 30 minutes each and every day during December, and has a shiny set of snowflake wings too. If you've already got one, it'll kick in again from the 1st of the month. If not, pick one up from the helpful snow imps hanging around the game.
Why have only 12 days of Christmas when you can have 15 instead? In Gielinor, the Guthixian calendar - in all its glorious wisdom - has decreed that 15 days is far more suitable.
From the 20th December to the 3rd of January, we are introducing a new Festive Cracker to the game, obtainable via unique challenges, special competitions, events and just generally playing the game. Each cracker will contain rewards, but only a few will contain a brand new tradeable rare…the black Santa hat! Anyone wearing Christmas outfits will get an increased drop chance, so we’re looking forward to seeing everyone in all their glorious Yuletide bling!
Talk to the helpful snow imps (found near several lodestones) during the 15 days of Christmas for more info.
The Bird and the Beast - the Second World Event
The Bird and the Beast is the next player-driven turning point of the new god struggles of the Sixth Age. It’s an amazing new update, featuring optional, open-world PvP and huge amounts of player interaction, running over a six-week period.
Two gods strive to hold key points over Misthalin and Asgarnia long enough to exploit the new divination skill to their own ends, against a backdrop of frequent Godless interference and the occasional mighty golem war machine.
Armadyl - self-styled god of Justice and advocate of friendly human-god relations - and Bandos - the Big High War God who favours personal strength and individual achievement as a path to power and glory - seek adventurers to help with the construction of mighty weapons of war. Doing so requires vast quantities of divine energy, but since the super-concentrated divine tears dried up with the fading of the Lumbridge crater, the only way to find it is by the efforts of skilled diviners.
Convoys roll across the land, filled with caravans and diviners protected by bodyguards and supported by hasty constructions in tactically significant spots. The faithful rush to fill their own caravans with energy via divination, to hamper and destroy those of the enemy in combat, or to claim land for their side by building aid structures - and at any time, vicious skirmishes may break out across the land. Those who join either Armadyl or Bandos will earn not only god-themed set armour with the potential to speed up ability cooldowns, but also entirely new combat abilities for PvP and PvE. Experience in Construction, Divination and Combat is available for all players, while those who choose to opt in to PvP will be able to gain Prayer XP as well.
Pick your side carefully, in the knowledge that the outcome of this fight will most certainly prove fatal to one of the leading gods of the Sixth Age pantheon.
Harbingers of Tuska
This month, new high-level Slayer creatures enter the game, and with them arrive the first forays of Tuska: the boar-beast god who destroyed Guthix’s homeland.
The creatures themselves- known as the airut - have a massive level 92 slayer requirement, meaning only the toughest heroes will get to fight them. You’ll need your very best gear to stand a chance against these formidable foes, who are capable of switching combat styles at will and fully utilise all the elements of the new combat system. You’ll certainly be able to wade in using the Momentum ability, but masters of the adrenaline bar will find far greater success.
Rewards available include the razorback gauntlets – the first ever level 90 gloves - new bones, and pieces of a Tuska mask that can be traded and completed for Combat XP.
The update even comes with an Early Bird Bonus, so those who take up arms against the harbingers will receive extra XP returns for the first few weeks of launch.
Special drops and primitive cave drawings have also been added for the lore hounds, giving information on Tuska, Guthix’s homeworld and also warning the world of the impending doom that they represent.
Once released, you’ll find them near the Phoenix Lair, south-west of Piscatoris, and in Kuradal's Dungeon.
Solomon’s General Store
It’s also a busy month for Solomon, with legendary reindeer pets, living presents, player designed Christmas outfits, Bandos and Armadyl-themed costumes, and even some retro armour.
Finally, we’ve been looking at the exciting second year of the premier package- a special deal where you can secure 3, 6 or 12 months of membership for hugely discounted prices and earn yourself a bunch of new rewards! Highlights include flying piggy pets, bonus daily spins, Loyalty Points, access to VIP worlds, free game-card promotional items and a VIP badge, displayed in all of your in-game chat and forum posts! Plus, for the first time, you can use Bonds to pay for the packages, so if want to treat yourself to an early present using your in-game items, you can!
It won’t be available for long, so if you want to join the most exclusive club of 2014, make sure you join up quick!
Have fun and merry Christmas to all of you. Whatever you’re doing this holiday, make it RuneScapey!
Design Director - RuneScape
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Behind the Scenes Video
Mod Mark takes you through these Yuletide updates in person:
What is a 'Behind the Scenes' article?
Behind the Scenes is a sneak peek at the planned game updates that we hope to launch in the coming month.
This, however, is only a plan - not a promise - that a particular update will be released in a particular way or at a particular time. To get you the highest quality updates as quickly as possible, we usually keep on tweaking and testing right up until the moment before release, so sometimes things change or take a bit longer than expected. We aren't afraid to change our plan if necessary, as we will never launch an update before it is ready.
(Sorry if there's any formatting errors, I'll fix them later)